Addressing spirituality in group therapy : a qualitative study at a shelter for abused and vulnerable Muslim women in Durban, South African.
Spirituality has gained recognition as a vital factor in mental healthcare, and has been applied to major occupational therapy models. However, its clinical application is limited universally, to the possible detriment of patients. This phenomenological study aimed to explore the experiences of abused and vulnerable Muslim women on addressing spirituality in occupational therapy groupwork, including understanding a definition of spirituality, and avenues to address spirituality. An inpatient Women's centre with a spiritual ethos was identified, where patients were exposed to a series of occupational therapy groups including concepts of spirituality. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted on 7 purposively selected participants, and followed by thematic analysis. The findings reflected through the emergence of 4 themes that addressing spirituality conforms with client-centeredness, and enhanced a sense of meaning and purpose for the participants. Strength and motivation was drawn from applying spiritual concepts in group therapy sessions, ultimately facilitating better coping and empowerment, which reflected in their daily occupation. Implications of this study extend to curriculum development, treatment and service delivery, and health promotion.